Adults going through a divorce usually find themselves in a state of almost constant stress. Managing a household, going to work, and taking care of children while dealing with the demands of a contested divorce are time consuming and difficult. During this period, it is not unusual for a couple’s children to become withdrawn or begin exhibiting behavioral issues. While it may take time for children to adjust to the separation of their parents, it is important to provide emotional support to children during a divorce. Supporting your children during this difficult time will help make their adjustment period easier.
Reach Out to Teachers and Counselors
The average child spends the majority of the day interacting with teachers and guidance counselors. After spending several hours each week with your child, teachers are often the first adults to notice any signs of distress or unusual behavior. Once the divorce process has started, reach out to your child’s teacher and explain the situation. The support system offered by school staff provides parents with a way to discreetly monitor their child during school hours. Also, school counselors may be able to spend time with your children, giving them an opportunity to discuss their emotions and thoughts with a trusted neutral party.
Take an Active Interest in a Child’s Friends and Activities
Parents who are focused on getting through their divorce and readjusting to life after marriage often become less attentive and authoritative. The stress and difficulty associated with divorce makes it harder for a parent to truly concentrate on his or her child, creating a relaxed environment. It is important to spend more time talking to your children about their activities (especially on social media), interests, and friendships instead of leaving them to their own devices. Dedicate a part of each day to reaching out to your children and staying aware of their actions while reminding them that they have a parent who is monitoring their behavior.
Create and Enforce Rules
Children whose parents divorce often become more independent and self-reliant. While independence is a good trait, during a divorce, it is important to make it clear that you as a parent are capable of keeping your children under control and out of trouble. Establish consistent rules that reward good behavior and provide appropriate punishment as needed. Do not be afraid to establish new rules that address new behavioral problems or unacceptable academic performance. If possible, encourage your spouse to enforce the same rules in his or her household to provide your mutual child with much needed stability.
Contact Us for Legal Advice
Working with a qualified divorce attorney to finalize your divorce quickly is one of the best things that you can do for your child. Once the divorce is complete, you and your children will be able to focus on moving forward while adjusting to your new family dynamic. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are dedicated to providing our clients with the representation necessary to help their families get through the stressful divorce process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located Atlanta metro area offices.